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[guhngk] /gʌŋk/
noun, Informal.
any sticky or greasy residue or accumulation:
gunk on the oil filter.
Origin of gunk
1932, Americanism; originally a trademark name for a degreasing solvent Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gunk
  • The leaves can gunk up the fan mechanism and snow that turns to ice can cause problems with either rust or expansion.
  • Food particles and water are spun off as a creamy gunk that he removes with a rag.
  • The light-killing blackness makes for delicate balances of impenetrable gunk and infinite depth.
  • The increase in pressure expels the water in the mouth cavity and whatever gunk may be floating in it.
  • And the greedy generation of gunk hypotheses through senseless pattern recognition is a hindrance to that.
  • Half the resultant gunk is then put into the ramekins and allowed to set in the refrigerator.
  • It breaks down the gunk on oven surfaces, neutralizing some fatty acids and turning others into grease-cutting solvents.
  • Used for millennia to congeal soy milk into tofu, this gunk has hundreds of applications.
  • But unless you have a history of ear infections, that gunk is generally innocuous.
  • Lungs-to-sinuses clogged up with gunk, which fortunately has not yet turned green.
British Dictionary definitions for gunk


(informal) slimy, oily, or filthy matter
Word Origin
C20: perhaps of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gunk

1949, "viscous substance," American English, apparently from Gunk, trademark for a thick liquid soap patented 1932 by A.F. Curran Co. of Malden, Mass.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gunk


  1. Any sticky, viscous liquid, esp hair tonic, cosmetics, lubricants, or cleaning fluids; glop, gook1
  2. Dirt; slime; oily grime; muck: The anchor was clotted in noisome gunk

[1932+; fr a trademark, Gunk, for a degreasing compound, and part of a cluster of nearly synonymous terms beginning with g]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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